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How Does the Nevada Municipal Court Work?

In Nevada’s judiciary, the Municipal Courts are one of the two limited jurisdiction courts in the state. Like the Justice Courts, the Nevada Municipal Courts are established under Article 6 of the Nevada Constitution to hear specific criminal, civil, and traffic legal matters. However, the two courts differ in the jurisdiction. While the Justice Courts’ jurisdiction is broader, the Municipal Courts’ jurisdiction is significantly more limited than the Justice Courts and constrained to the incorporated municipalities. The cities fund the Municipal Courts. Pursuant to NRS 5.050, below are the case types handled by these courts:

  • Ordinance violations (misdemeanors or other)
  • Traffic and parking violations
  • Misdemeanor criminal cases
  • City civil actions up to or less than $2,500 in dispute, including tax collection suits, liens, personal property actions, breach of bonds, etc
  • Actions seeking orders under NRS 441A.195

Civil and criminal procedures in Municipal Courts are similar to those of the other Nevada courts (Justice and District Courts). Civil proceedings in the courts are conducted under Rule 1 and 3 through 87 of the Justice Courts Rules of Civil Procedure, while criminal proceedings typically follow the Criminal Procedure in Nevada’s Courts. Under these rules, a civil action commences once a complaint is filed against an individual or business in a Municipal Court. On the other hand, a criminal case begins when a defendant is arraigned before the court for a misdemeanor offense.

In the court, the maximum sentence for misdemeanor offenses is six months in jail and a fine not above $1000 (plus administrative assessments). Under the law, parties arraigned for misdemeanors have no right to counsel or right to a jury trial, unless the crime for which the defendant is charged involves a jail sentence. Where the criminal case is outside the bounds of the Municipal Court’s jurisdiction, the court may transfer the case to another Municipal, Justice, or District Court under NRS 5.0503 and NRS 5.0505.

There are set timings for certain civil or criminal processes, such as the maximum length of time a defendant may be brought to trial, or timings to submit certain documents. However, there is no aggregate timeframe under Nevada’s statutes when a criminal or civil case may be resolved in the court. Nevada’s law provides post-adjudication relief in the form of appeals for parties who want to petition a Municipal Court’s decision or judgment to a higher court as a result of a legal or procedural error. In the state, the Municipal Courts’ appeals are under the Nevada District Courts’ exclusive jurisdiction. Usually, the appeals process begins with filing a notice of intention to appeal in a Municipal Court (NRS 5.080).. According to the Nevada Judiciary Annual Report, 50,985 non-traffic cases and 143,057 traffic and parking cases were resolved by the Municipal Courts.

NRS 5.020 outlines the qualifications for Municipal Court judges in Nevada. According to this law, municipal judges are chosen from qualified electors of cities where the Municipal Courts are located. Also, a judge must be a citizen of the state and resident for not less than a year prior to an election. Furthermore, the candidate must not have been removed or retired from a judicial office. Municipal Court judges are elected by city voters and serve terms set by ordinance or charter of the cities. The judges may also be approved by the city council and selected by the mayor. A chief municipal judge is chosen when there is more than one municipal judge in a court and is responsible for authorizing the court’s hours, assigning cases to judges, and managing court operations, among other obligations prescribed by law (NRS 5.021).. In Nevada, there are 30 Municipal Court judges. However, some cities appoint their municipal judges from serving Justices of the Peace. As of June 2019, eleven of the municipal judges were also Justices of the Peace.

Docket information of the Municipal Courts may be obtained by searching online dockets provided on the courts’ individual websites. Case information and activities may be viewed by inputting a case number and the party’s name in a case. The courts also provide online calendars to view the status of cases free of charge. Users may locate a local Municipal Court’s website via the Find A Court web feature.

Interested persons may find Nevada’s Municipal Courts at the following addresses:

Boulder City Municipal Court

Clark County

501 Avenue G

Boulder City, VNV 89005


Phone: (702) 293–9278

Fax: (702) 293–9345

Caliente Municipal Court

Lincoln County

100 Depot Avenue

PO Box 1006

Caliente, NV 89008


Phone: (775) 726–3131

Fax: (775) 726–3370

Carlin Municipal Court

Elko County

101 South Eighth Street

PO Box 789

Carlin, NV 89822


Phone: (775) 754–6321

Fax: (775) 754–6893

Carson City Municipal Court

Carson City County

885 East Musser Street

Suite 2007

Carson City, NV 89701

Phone: (775) 887–2121

Elko Municipal Court

Elko County

571 Idaho Street

Elko, NV 89801

Phone: (775) 738–8403

Fax: (775) 738–8416

Ely Municipal Court

White Pine County

1785 Great Basin Boulevard

Ely, NV 89301

Phone: (775) 289–4838

Fax: (775) 289–8225

Fallon Municipal Court

Churchill County

55 West Williams Avenue

Fallon, NV 89406

Phone: (775) 423–6244

Fax: (775) 867–2378

Fernley Municipal Court

Lyon County

595 Silverlace Boulevard

Fernley, NV 89408

Phone: (775) 784–9870

Fax: (775) 784–9999

Henderson Municipal Court

Clark County

243 Water Street

Henderson, NV 89015

Phone: (702) 267–3300

Las Vegas Municipal Court

Clark County

200 Lewis Avenue

Las Vegas, NV 89101

PO Box 3950

Las Vegas, NV 89127

Phone: (702) 382–6878

Mesquite Municipal Court

Clark County

500 Hillside Drive

Mesquite, NV 89027


Phone: (702) 346–5291

Fax: (702) 346–6587

North Las Vegas Municipal Court

Clark County

2332 Las Vegas Boulevard North

Suite 100

North Las Vegas, NV 89030

Phone: (702) 633–1130

Fax: (702) 399–6296

Reno Municipal Court

Washoe County

1 South Sierra Street

Reno, Nevada 89501

PO Box 1900

Reno, NV 89505


Phone: (775) 334–2290

Fax: (775) 334–3824

Sparks Municipal Court

Washoe County

1450 C Street

Sparks, NV 89431

Phone: (775) 353–2286

Fax: (775) 353–2400

Wells Municipal Court

Elko County

1510 Lake Avenue

PO Box 297

Wells, NV 89835


Phone: (775) 752–3726

Fax: (775) 752–3363

West Wendover Municipal Court

Elko County

1111 North Gene L. Jones Way

PO Box 2300

West Wendover, NV 89883


Phone: (775) 664–2305

Fax: (775) 664–2979

Yerington Municipal Court

Lyon County

102 South Main Street

Yerington, NV 89447


Phone: (775) 463–3511

Fax: (775) 463–2284

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